Ian Delaney Doherty
A late night television screen flickering
Diluted lights on the horizon at bedtime
The work of a skilled abstract painter
A city whizzing by at night
Compact neon layering
Pretty geological segments
An exotic pinstripe suit
Seth Dorcus Maryland Institute College of Art 2014
“Three Floors and a Roof” - Maggie Gourlay
“Three Floors and a Roof” are three screen prints on paper depicting the layout of the floors of a house. The background is a beautiful Moroccan print that fades through darker and lighter shades. The focus of each of the three pieces are blueprint like images of floors, originally made out of string but now printed onto the paper. The floors are so perfectly meticulous that it is easy to imagine someone remembering there childhood home. However as the string ends it leaves an invitation for more memories and ideas to enter. The shadow of these blue prints gives the illusion of a floating room, an idea shifting and evolving, similar to the way these pieces are created. A feeling of happiness and nostalgia comes from these stunning pieces.
- Natalie Richard Montgomery HS ‘18
Michael Callaghan, Fire
It’s a careful marriage of pattern and spontaneity. Callaghan’s Fire, a natural beauty, has a calm but powerful constitution. Like the “quiet fire” of Bill Evan’s piano, this work is brilliant, but tempered. Rows of tape have been used by the artist to construct a grid on the canvas. The additive creates dimension and weight that are reinforced by a nearly monochromatic palette. Though at close proximity, one can see the vibrant yellow of the flame peeking through - the painting is not as monochromatic as it may have seemed. It becomes questionable whether the static grid is the foundation for the flame in this work, or vice versa. Ultimately it doesn’t matter which came first, for now they go together, and do so wonderfully.
Seth Dorcus MICA 2014
Lori Anne Boocks’ series “Small Boxes…Some on Fire” demonstrates striking earthly colors, lively brush strokes and underlying layers of text. The pairing of these paintings makes you think about the spacing and size of the colored boxes. When you pair just two of Lori’s paintings together, they begin this conversation about containment verses freedom. This work makes me think about the environment of the boxes meaning the surrounding text, colors and brush strokes. Parts of the work gives me sense of freedom because of her loose brush strokes, but it seems like she is demonstrating a struggle for freedom. The boxes seem to be a symbol for containment and isolation. The colors within the boxes have not fully blended in with the surrounding environment. Even the text looks different when inside the box verses when outside the box. While the text is illegible, it allows me a personal connection to the work.
Virginia Commonwealth University 2016
Here is a photograph of one of the walls Seth, Schuyler and I curated for the Summer show which is currently up in the Gallery. When curating this wall, we were thinking about color, textures and interactions between artworks. Starting on the lefthand side, we compiled smaller works of Pat Goslee and Ellyn Weiss. This arrangement of smaller works keeps the eye busy jumping from square to square. We paired these works with Brian Dupont’s Pipe Piece which brings the art even further off the wall.
Continuing our theme of vivid blacks and bold marks, we placed Joan Belmar’s work next to Nancy Frankel’s metal floor sculpture. These pieces respond very well next to each other because they all have such strong textures which further enhance each piece.
As your eye continues down the wall, we brought in an element of Japanese art with Freda Lee McCann and Allen Steele. Both works contain Japanese writing. McCann’s landscape painting brings out the pinks in Brian and Pat’s work. Below Alan Steele’s painting we have one of Mei Mei Chang’s mixed media works. Mei Mei’s jagged edges and diverse materials give a nice transition into my abstract silver gelatin photograms paired with tiled photographs. Lastly, we have Susan Stack’s gold circular pen on paper piece. This gold color ties the rest of the wall together as you continue further to the right. To see more pictures of the show, visit AdahRoseGallery.com
I have to admit, “The Spell” by Chandi Kelley grabbed me from my first day at Adah Rose Gallery, and not for the normal “high brow” art analysis reasons. Growing up, there were very few things I loved more than unicorns, witches, and fantastical worlds filled with magic. Now, botanical prints like the wallpaper in this photograph fill my own decor. Needless to say, this was a very personally, individually pleasing piece.
However, the more I have stayed with this photograph, the more I find thoughtful and subtle layers to this playful piece.
Visually, it’s a study in how a symmetrical, balanced composition can stay dynamic when the artist applies the rule of thirds. (The rule is easy shorthand for the principal of keeping elements in a piece along invisible lines that divide the composition into thirds both horizontally and vertically.) The different poses in the two unicorn bookends keep a sense of movement by not being too perfectly symmetrical. The bright, high contrast pattern in the background adds further visual dynamism.
Intellectually, the photograph is a portrait without being a portrait. Domestic environments can be just as revealing about their owner as that owner’s face, and this photograph does a wonderful job of capturing an aspect of that person’s personality. It’s remarkably easy to feel as if one already knows the owner of this bookshelf. To delve a little deeper, the photograph speaks to how our texts inform our identities; the books are arranged with a level of care and intention that suggest how formative they were to the owner. They’re the kind of books that create a portrait all their own.
Schuyler Krogh Kenyon College 2015
Thunder and Mist
Freda Lee McCann’s work, “Thunder and Mist,” pays homage to a rich and vast tradition of Chinese landscape painting (termed “shanshui” or “mountains and waters”)while reinterpreting it for contemporary times. Her techniques are recognizable but new.
The white mist, traditionally called “flying white” and used to allow space for qi to flow and mountains to breathe, was typically created through carefully leaving areas of the painting blank. Here, Freda instead uses watercolor and rice paper, a technique that gives these spaces a new texture and depth.
Her training and skill as a traditional calligrapher are evident in every line of the work. The calligraphic lines of the soaring mountains create energy and movement, while what at first appears to be foliage is really a display of gestural ink work and beautifully wrought Chinese characters.
Additionally, Freda incorporates scraps of phonebook pages on which she practiced her calligraphy. These pieces offer a glimpse into the painstaking practice and repetition necessary to join an art tradition that once taught its students through having them copy all of the great masters who came before. Now, that practices becomes a visual and textural layer of her painting.
-Schuyler Krogh, Kenyon College ’15